The Experience

Your journey begins in Vietnam,™s bustling capital, Hanoi, followed by an excursion to breathtaking Ha Long Bay for an overnight sojourn. A short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, brings you to the gateway of the ancient Khmer empire. Spend three days touring the temples of Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before embarking your Mekong cruise on Tonle Sap Lake. Visit rural villages, historic pagodas, floating markets and a Buddhist monastery along the way. Overnight in Phnom Phen, capital of Cambodia. Conclude your cruise in lively Ho Chi Minh City, where you will enjoy a two-night stay.

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Day 1    ARRIVE IN HANOI, VIETNAM
Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam,™s capital city, known for its graceful colonial architecture, frenetic streets, and verdant parks and temples. After checking into your hotel mid-afternoon, the remainder of the day is yours to explore on your own.

Day 2    HANOI
A morning sightseeing tour will take you to some of Hanoi,™s most famous historical and cultural sites, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, One-pillar Pagoda and The Temple of Literature. You will also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the Hanoi Hilton, during the Vietnam War. In the afternoon, experience an authentic rickshaw ride (known as cyclo,) in the Old Quarter, followed by a traditional water puppet show. (B)

Day 3    HANOI – HA LONG BAY OVERNIGHT JUNK
After breakfast, leave Hanoi behind and take a scenic ride to one of Vietnam,™s most renowned locations, Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Board a traditional wooden Junk, where you will spend the night ,“ an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience and an AmaWaterways exclusive. After visiting a floating village, enjoy an onboard dinner set against the Bay,™s magnificent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations. (B,L,D)

Day 4    HA LONG BAY – HANOI – SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
This morning, your Ha Long Bay Junk continues its scenic cruising during breakfast onboard. Late morning, disembark the ship and transfer to Hanoi Airport, stopping for lunch en route. A short flight will take you to Siem Reap in Cambodia, the gateway to Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer empire and one of the most renowned archeological sites in all of Southeast Asia. Tonight, you will enjoy a special Apsara Dancing Show, at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. (B,L,D)

Day 5    SIEM REAP – ANGKOR
After breakfast, you will have a guided sightseeing tour of the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include Angkor Thom, the newly restored Baphuon Temple, Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. You will also see the Bayon Temple, best known for its gigantic smiling stone faces. This afternoon, travel through the rural countryside to visit the pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei. Afterwards, you will visit an English-language school sponsored by AmaWaterways in the village of Ta Toum. (B,D)

Day 6    SIEM REAP – ANGKOR
This morning we will visit the most iconic temple of all Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat. This massive temple complex was built in the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god Vishnu. You will also visit Ta Prohm, known as the Kingdom of Trees, for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation over the centuries (an incredible sight that will be easily recognized by fans of the film Tomb Raider,). The afternoon is yours to spend however you wish. (B)

Day 7    SIEM REAP/KAMPONG CHAM – EMBARKATION
Today you will board your river cruise ship in Kampong CHam. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Wat Hanchey. (B,L,D)

Day 8    WAT HANCHEY ,“ANGKOR BAN
This morning, explore Wat Hanchey, a hilltop pagoda with beautiful panoramic views of the Mekong river. This ancient 8th century pagoda is characteristic of the Chenla Empire, which pre-dates the Angkor period. Your afternoon excursion takes you the Kampong Cham area on your way to visit the Mahayana Buddhist temple of Wat Nokor, where the 12th century temple has been ,˜fused,™ with a modern wat. Afterwards you will see the Twin Holy Mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey (man and woman hill) symbolic of marriage in Cambodian culture. (B,L,D)

Day 9    ANGKOR BAN ,“ CHONG KOH ,“ PHNOM PENH
Today, your morning excursion begins with a blessing from the monks of a local temple followed by a visit to the village of Angkor Ban, one of the only villages that was not burned down or destroyed during the Khmer Rouge tragedies, where you can see stilted houses up to 100 years old. After lunch take a leisurely walk Chong Koh village best known for its silk-weaving artists. The ship arrives in Phnom Penh this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 10    PHNOM PENH
A morning tour explores the highlights of the city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes and colorful nightlife. Visit the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, you will take an afternoon excursion to Cambodia,™s infamous Killing Fields, and also visit the Khmer Rouge,™s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum) just outside the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine on your own in one of many nearby restaurants, if you so choose. (B,L,D)

Day 11    PHNOM PENH – BORDER CROSSING – TAN CHAU, VIETNAM
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River and crossing the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam. (B,L,D)

Day 12    TAN CHAU – SA DEC
Today, you will take a small local boat through narrow channels to several scenic locations, including a small village known as Evergreen Island., Later, you will see Tan Chau from the vantage point of a traditional xe-loi, (trishaw) that will take you around to all the sights, with stops at a silk-making workshop and another that produces rattan mats and slippers. This afternoon, your ship cruises to Sa Dec, where it will moor overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 13    SA DEC – XEO QUYT – CAI BE
In the morning, board a local boat for Sa Dec. Once ashore, you will tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colorful local market, and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, now a small museum. Afterwards, board a motor coach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be,™s spectacular floating market. You will also have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 14    HO CHI MINH CITY – DISEMBARKATION
Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port, followed by a transfer to nearby Ho Chi Minh City (still affectionately referred to by locals as Saigon). This former capital of Indochina was once known as Paris of the Orient., Today, Vietnam,™s largest city is an industrial, cultural and educational hub, but still retains vestiges of its colonial past. Upon your arrival, enjoy a city tour that explores such famous landmarks as the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Cho Lon (China Town) and the Thien Hau pagoda. You will also visit the War Remnants Museum, one of the city,™s most popular tourist attractions, known for its vast collection of artifacts from the Vietnam War. An optional tour of Thanh Market is available this afternoon. You will spend the night at a fine hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L)

Day 15    HO CHI MINH CITY
Today is free to explore Ho Chi Minh City on your own, perhaps venturing to nearby shops and markets for mementos of your Southeast Asia adventure. (B)

Day 16    DEPART HO CHI MINH CITY
Bid farewell to Ho Chi Minh City and prepare for your homeward flight. (B)

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The Route

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